The Final Critique

The school year is quickly coming to a close. Students are finishing up last minute papers, saying their goodbyes for the summer, and trying to fit everything they accumulated this year into their cars (and their parent’s cars, their friends’ cars, the extra bins they had to buy to fit more stuff in, ect.). But as an art student; it isn’t always too easy to make a quick getaway. You have to clean up your studio, figure out how to clean and organize all your art supplies, and either store or somehow transport all the amazing projects you created this school year. And of course you need to have the final critique for all your art classes. Now I promise this isn’t as scary as it sounds, but it is a lot of pressure to show the best of the best projects you did all year.

I just had my last ceramics critique of my undergraduate career. I don’t know where the time has gone. I remember when I was an tiny freshman and now I’m a week away from graduation! I believe critiques get easier as you advance in your college career. Your teachers know you and your work and they have seen you progress over the last few months, and maybe even the last few years. Critiques are often a time to reflect back on what you have learned and what you should improve on. But I still get nervous displaying my work; and I don’t think that will ever go away!

One of the first projects of the semester for my ceramics studio was to create a small bowl with a pedestal or foot inspired by Frank Gehry’s architecture. In 2001, Thomas Krens, Former Director of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, wrote this about Frank Gehry: The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has been lauded as the greatest building of our time by architects and critics around the world, and has raised the bar for architectural innovation. Frank has accomplished this because of a preternatural openness to the concepts of difference and radical juxtaposition. Place two unlikely elements together and Frank will say, “Why not?” Frank Gehry Inspired

Here I was, tasked to make something beautifully opposite and unique and something that could slightly compare to Gehry’s stunning architectural creations. No pressure right? After working through many brainstorming sessions I chose to juxtapose a soft delicate form with strong vertical architectural forms. I began with weaving thin strips of clay over a square mold to create a delicate basket. Truthfully through the whole process I wasn’t even sure the basket would survive the firing process; but luckily it did! I then built two i-beams to hold the basket. Overall I’m pretty happy with the results and the piece was a star at my final ceramics critique.

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